Navigation Links
Misconceptions about Alzheimer's varies among races, survey suggests
Date:9/18/2007

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Alzheimer's disease is still a mystery to people of different races and a large percentage of people across the board are unaware that treatments are available to reduce symptoms.

This is one of the surprising findings in a national survey, "Public opinion about Alzheimer's disease among Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites," which was analyzed by researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Understanding racial and ethnic influences on knowledge and beliefs about Alzheimer's is critical to communicating risk reduction strategies, symptom recognition, diagnosis and illness management, the paper said.

There were more similarities in patterns of response among the racial groups than expected, said Cathleen Connell, professor in the U-M School of Public Health and director of the Education and Information Transfer Core of the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. One half of the sample reported that nothing can be done to maintain cognitive functioning and reduce Alzheimer's risk. Similarly, less than half of the sample was aware that treatments can address symptoms and improve quality of life. There were no significant differences among races in the level of concern about getting Alzheimer's disease.

However, some notable differences among blacks, whites and Hispanics were discovered, Connell said. Many more blacks and Hispanics than whites responded that they believe that Alzheimer's is a normal part of aging.

"If family members believe that Alzheimer's disease is the term for normal memory loss associated with aging, they will be less likely to seek diagnosis and treatment in the early phase of the process when more options are available," Connell said. "To the extent that non-whites are much more likely than whites to normalize symptoms of dementia, we need to do a much better job of tailoring messages in an effort to increase public awareness about the disease."

Blacks and Hispanics were much more hopeful than whites about research advances toward a cure, which may reflect a hopeful outlook "related to spirituality and religiosity, both of which play a significant role in health decision making," the paper said. In keeping with this higher level of optimism, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to report changing their diet or lifestyle to avoid developing Alzheimer's disease than whites.

Hispanics reported feeling more well-prepared for handling a diagnosis of Alzheimer's in the family than blacks or whites. But overall, only one fourth of respondents reported feeling prepared for such a diagnosis in the family.

Researchers gave 1,776 black, Hispanic and white adults brief phone interviews to assess their levels of knowledge and beliefs about the disease; their concern about getting other prevalent chronic diseases; and whether they reported any lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of disease.

"Although knowledge about Alzheimer's disease has increased dramatically over the past two decades, misconceptions remain among large segments of the population," Connell said. "Continued efforts are clearly needed to educate the public about the disease."

Further studies are needed to better interpret the survey findings, but they will likely need to be in-depth qualitative studies. However, a large percentage of the overall sample responded in ways that suggested a need for more outreach and education, independent of race.

Connell is associate director for the Center for Managing Chronic Disease, and lead author of the study, which appears in the September issue of the journal Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders. Co-authors include J. Scott Roberts, assistant professor in the School of Public Health, and Sara McLaughlin, doctoral candidate in the School of Public Health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Men with prostate cancer avoid radiation due to misconceptions
2. Quantum Dots Research Leads to New Knowledge about Protein Binding in Plants
3. U-M scientist to talk about tissue engineering at AAAS
4. US life expectancy about to decline, researchers say
5. Surprising findings reported about iron overload
6. Alaskan puzzles, monitoring provide insight about North Pacific salmon runs
7. FDA Warns About Antipsychotic Drugs and Elderly
8. Important discovery about second most fatal cancer
9. Survey reveals women and doctors arent talking about HPV
10. Hopkins AIDS experts issue warning about global efforts to provide drug therapies
11. Few clues about African ancestry to be found in mitochondrial DNA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- RAM Group , Singaporean based technology ... biometric authentication based on a novel  quantum-state ... perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on a ... Group and its partners. This sensor will have widespread ... security. Ram Group is a next generation sensor ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today ... of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced ... the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to ... profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using ... highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches to ... "New techniques for measuring levels of ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in ... 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by ... feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding ... offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services ...
Breaking Biology Technology: